Comments about ‘Will the real minimum-wage worker please stand up?’

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Published: Monday, March 4 2013 4:55 p.m. MST

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KC Mormon
Edgerton, KS

Ultra Bob,
Question, where does the money come from to pay the wages for all those people? It comes from taxes. So 100% of their income must be taxed from someone to pay the wage. Now you say lets tax the companies. Another question, are going to allow them to still make a profit? If yes than I have yet another question are going to get rid of the personal income tax? Here is where this is all leading with everything the government is required to do you tax companies to pay the salaries of all these new government employees you are going to raise the cost of their products. That will make the new government wage not enough to live on. Further more what are all these new government workers going to do? What is their job going to be? How hard will it be to fire them? can they spend 2 hours every day on Facebook? What people need to start doing is thinking ideas through to the next stage rather than stopping at everything is just happy go lucky

Salt Lake City, UT

Of course, the missing piece in all discussion of wages is the refusal of economists to recognize the existence of Marx's surplus value. This must be part of the discussion, but never is because it is taboo. Marx asked an interesting question: in a market system which sees mostly the exchange of equivalents, where do profits come from? The answer is surplus value, the increment of value added by labor for which it is not compensated. Without this inclusion the debate over wages is an exercise in futility.

Centerville, UT


If it were politically possible, I would raise the minimum wage to more than $9 per hour. It is not politically possible, so I would take the best deal I could get. Obviously, highly skilled workers demand higher salaries than those lacking skills. But adults working at minimum wage are unlikely to be computer programmers or doctors.

I'm uncomfortable with the idea that "they should pull themselves up by their bootstraps." Some people can't do that. We are always going to have people working in fast food or retail. And many of them work hard. (I doubt any of the people who conduct the studies on minimum wage would be willing to give up their jobs in academia or think tanks to be shift supervisors at McDonald's. Being a shift supervisor is much harder work.) So, when we say "go get a better job" or "what you do is not worth more than $7.25 per hour", I don't think we are being fair to the hard-working people doing those jobs. That's what I mean by fair in this context.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

If someone wants to run a business, why do we have the nerve to tell them how much they should pay their employees? Do you go into people's houses and tell them how they should arrange furniture, how often they should clean, etc?

The government should be able to set minimum wage for government employees, but why is it telling a private business owner how much he should pay? To help the people, the government can train, educate, provide information about jobs to make the job market more competitive, but it should not grab a business owner by the throat and tell him "You have to pay this much or else..".

county mom
Monroe, UT

A1994, You are so very right!
Why does this government continue to make it harder and harder for anyone to find the American dream?
All I have heard Obama encourage is, higher education and higher minimum wage?
What the?

No matter what education you have, if there is no way to make more then minimum wage, you have wasted your time and acquired school debt foolishly.

Salt Lake City, UT

Minimum wage is one reason why so many businesses are looking overseas for their workers. It is cheaper to ship from China than it is to pay for low skill labor in the United States. Why do factories in the US shut down? This is just another bowing down to a puppet China.

Thinkin\' Man
Rexburg, ID

Workers are not paid for hard work, they are paid for VALUABLE work. If a job is something anyone off the street could do, or could do with experience, the pay SHOULD be minimal.

county mom
Monroe, UT

Your econmoic points are based on the premise that communism works, it does for the top politicians and everyone else suffers in poverty!

I go with the "shoe study".
A group of scientists studied poverty across the earth. They looked for a way to see how wealthy a culture was, the one need that was universal around the planet. They choose shoes.
How many pairs of shoes does each person have in each country and nation. They spent years compiling information.
Since most people in the US have at least 6 pairs of shoes we are some of the wealthiest, most communist nations are among the poorest including Cuba, China, and North Korea, with one or no pairs of shoes.
I happen to like shoes. You must too, because you are still here.

North, UT


Perhaps you were raised with a silver spoon in your mouth. That may explain how it would be difficult for you to recognize or understand how a person can pull himself up by his bootstraps. I grew up sleeping on a concrete floor in a cinder block house. I have no complaints about that. I worked at multiple minimum wage jobs and decided that this would not work when it came to raising my family.

I worked full time and went to school full time to improve my wife and two children’s lives. No government programs, no scholarship, no food stamps just hard teeth gritting work. I no longer have to work at low paying jobs. I still have to work hard but I am able to successfully compete in a tight job market.

That’s why this country is called the land of opportunity. That is why we have so many people trying to get into this country.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

KC Mormon

As mentioned in the post, the cost is paid by a tax on business operations. Just like it always has before technology, automation and unfair labor practices took away the balance needed to keep the economy going.

The profit is up to the skill of the businessman, just like before. However the rate of creating new millionaires may decline.

Wages will tend to follow prices, it has to do with the supply and demand. Why would the businessman raise prices when his costs go up along with greater demand for his product. Working people tend to spend a greater share of the earnings as opposed to millionaires and racially motivated businessmen.

Mostly the jobs they do would be the same kinds of jobs people are doing now and working with the same motivations and ethics, only more of what we want done will get done.

If a businessman fires and employee, the employee and his family will not suffer, he can just walk across the street and work for the government.

The employee would become a real human being freed from the tyranny of business slave masters.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Sasha Pachev

The difference between business and a business operation is that business is a prerogative of the society wherein the business operation wants to operate. It’s the people who create the opportunity, the rules and regulations, and specify how and what the product must be and even how much the business operation must pay it’s employees.

The businessman may own the buildings, assets and even some intangibles, but he doesn’t own the right to operate his business with out the OK, permission and regulations of the society.

The problem with today’s businessmen is that they think they should get all the profit because they invested some money. In fact their investment in the business may be less that the investment from the society of people.

bountiful, UT

this will cause a considerable rise in unemployment. fast foods etc. can't afford big increases. they will hire fewer employees, and cost of their product will rise, causing both inflation and lower sales

Jackson, TN

I love it when rich people talk about how poor people don't really need to make a semi-decent wage!

Instead of a minimum wage we need a "Federal Profit Sharing" law that forces companies to take 75% of the profits and split it up between the people actually creating the profit; the harder the work the more they make!

It is NOT RIGHT that the top dog makes MILLIONS while the people CREATING THE PROFIT live on slave wages.

tom niles
west, TX

raising the mininum wage will result in 5.00 hamburgers at micky dees, what is needed is better paying jobs for the starting wage earners to move into. common sense 101 needs to be taught to our elected leaders.

Provo, Utah

That Bureau of Labor Statistics 1.8 million needs to be rechecked again for the amount of people getting that wage. It may be a little bit low. There are a lot of fast food places out there. There is a whole lot of subsidized housing that requires incomes be low to live in it.
There may be a whole lot more than 1.8 million out there. Of Course, then the Walmart payscale starts at $7.38 an hour -so just escapes minimum, so this could be right.

county mom
Monroe, UT

Those who believe that the people who actually own a business should not profit, are total fools.
If there is no profit in a business, why take the risk? Why deal with all the governmental regulations, taxes, insurances, employees issues, retail theift, law suits etc. ?
As an employee, you don't deal with those issues, you get your wages, your workers comp, and you go home.
You don't worry if you will make payroll after you pay quarterlies, don't worry if the new round of EPA regulations will put you out of business or cost you most of your take home. You don't worry if you insurance will raise or if your employees will actually show up for work. You don't get the joy of having a safety inspector show up, or the wage bureau or the state workers comp regulators.

Pocatello, ID

Minimum wage jobs are meant to be training jobs for teenagers and additional money for retired workers. They are not supposed to be long range family security. If you raise the minimum wage, the businesses will raise the prices, lay off workers and we are right back where we started. The idea here is, finish school, go to college or trade schools, train for something that will enable you to provide for a family. Yes, how did we get a president who is too stupid to know how to deal with the economy, world affairs, telling the truth, national security, financial management, and every other thing that crosses his desk...when he is actually there and not on vacation spending billions of our dollars?

Centerville, UT

Why Not Think,

I was not raised with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was raised in a single parent home and worked through college and law school (though I also had scholarships and Pell grants, for which I am grateful). But not everyone will be able to get a high paying job. No matter how many people take advantage of the opportunity society, somebody still has to wait tables, clean motel rooms and work in convenience stores (and none of those jobs will be outsourced). If we are unwilling to pay the people who do those jobs a reasonable wage, we need to think about what kind of people we are. This isn't just about making the most money; it is about treating others as we would want to be treated.

Centerville, UT

Thinkin/ Man,

Do you really think the proper way to treat people is to pay them the least we can? Just because anyone off the street could perform a service, do you really believe we should give them minimal pay? We should not grind the faces of the poor into the dust.

SLC Grandma
Salt Lake City, UT

If I were an employer, I would hire a basically untrained person at a lower hourly rate (call it "minimum wage") than a trained, reliable person and then as that untrained person gained skills and became a valuable employee and an asset to my company, I would raise his wages so he would stay working for me - that's just common sense. I don't know if such practical, straight-forward thinking has a chance in today's climate.

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